Scholars at Risk


Special Funding for Ukraine

Scholarships for special commitment are available for prospective students, enrolled students, doctoral candidates, and scientists who have fled the war in Ukraine or have been directly affected by its consequences.



Cathrin Urbanke

Interim Head of Division/Welcome Center


+49 241 80 95264


Logo Scholars at Risk - Network Germany Section Humboldt Foundation logo  

Supporting Threatened and Displaced Scholars

RWTH Aachen University is deeply committed to promoting academic freedom. As a member of the worldwide Scholars at Risk network, we are actively involved in helping threatened scholars who are no longer able to work in their home countries due to violence, persecution, or severe restrictions to their research activities.

The Welcome Center for International Researchers assists institutes and departments wishing to host scholars at risk by helping them select suitable funding programs and apply for them. Researchers who come to RWTH Aachen University to continue their scientific work are supported in all practical matters concerning their stay and integration into life in Germany to help them thrive in Aachen personally and professionally.

Philipp Schwartz Initiative of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

The Philipp Schwartz Initiative gives universities and research institutions in Germany the opportunity to employ at-risk researchers on a full scholarship for 24 months. If you are interested in being nominated by RWTH Aachen University, you are welcome to contact the Welcome Center for International Researchers at any time of the year. As a rule, there are two rounds of applications per year.

Scholars at Risk - Germany Section

The German Section of the global Scholars at Risk Network is composed of German universities, research institutions and science organisations that campaign to support and offer sanctuary to researchers under threat as well as to protect academic freedom. On the Germany section’s web pages you will find helpful information on the numerous funding opportunities for researchers at risk.


Support for Scholars at Risk: Philipp Schwartz Initiative Starts Twelfth Round of Calls

Applications to host at-risk researchers on a full fellowship or employment contract for 24 months as part of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative are now open until October 21, 2022. Please note that applications are to be submitted via the International Office, contact: Cathrin Urbanke.

For more information, please visit the Philipp Schwartz Initiative website.


Support Program of the Scholars at Risk Germany Section – NRW Verbund

Some of the member institutions of the Scholars at Risk Germany Section in North Rhine-Westphalia, NRW, offer a joint support program for researchers at risk. It is primarily aimed at Philipp Schwartz scholarship holders of the participating institutions, but other interested researchers can also apply to participate. With seminars and workshops on various research and career-related topics, the program aims to facilitate professional integration and a new start to their lives in Germany.

Universities interested in an exchange are welcome to contact .


2022 Support Program for Scholars at Risk

Seminars and workshops for Scholars at Risk

In 2022, five of the Scholars at Risk member institutions in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) again offer a collaborative support program for at-risk scholars. The Philipp Schwartz fellows of the participating institutions are the target group of this program, but other interested at-risk scholars may also apply for participation. The workshops and seminars discuss various research- and career-related issues and are intended to help at-risk scholars with starting their professional life in Germany.

Please reach out to the indicated contact person if you would like to participate in one of the seminars. We kindly ask for your understanding that it is not possible to participate without prior registration. The language of instruction is English and participation is free of charge.

October 19, 2022 – “Getting to Know Germany“ (University of Cologne)

November 02, 2022 – “Information About the German Pension Insurance System” (University of Cologne)

Germany has a reputation for having one of the best social security systems in the world, but also created a rather bureaucratic monster in its wake. Living and working in Germany necessitates a general knowledge and understanding of its statutory pension system. How does it work? What kind of benefits can I get? What happens when I leave Germany? What happens when I move within the European Union or what is possible if I leave the European Union? So this should be an introduction to the main pillar of old age provisions and more - a general overview and a guide where to get help and information from.

We will address all these questions and more in this information session. Furthermore, the event will provide time to address participants’ individual questions.


Funding Opportunities

A comprehensive list of sponsorship opportunities for researchers at risk can be found on the pages of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative.

Regular funding opportunities for international researchers: